Pair, Set and Match: Replacement of Undamaged Hotel Furnishings Ensuring a Uniform Look

ADJUSTING TODAY

...to furnish the entire hotel. That the same result should obtain as in Avondale Shipyards —that is, treat- ment of the undamaged furniture as a constructive loss—is readily apparent.

This reading of the “pair and set” clause is bolstered by the fact that recovery in the case of matching is not necessarily a function of “pair and set” coverage, but can follow directly from the nature of replace- ment insurance.

For example, in Holloway v. Lib- erty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. , the apparent absence of “pair and set” language did not give the court pause in ordering replacement of an entire carpet even though only part of the carpet was damaged. 290 So.2d 791 (La. Ct. App. 1974).

The Court did so because replace- ment solely of the damaged portion would have resulted in décor incon- sistent with the usual furnishing of homes in the area and would have reduced the value of the house; ho- tels have similar concerns with regard to their décor, and it is for that reason that “pair and set” coverage exists.

“Consequential Loss” Covers Replacement Merchandise

Some policies address the “pair and set” issue in a different and less common fashion. Those policies address the issue through...

3. Insurers may argue that the unpublished opinion issued in Jaskierny v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co. , No. Civ. A. 96-1841, 1996 WL 736975 (E.D. La. Dec. 19, 1996), is on point. It is not. Jaskierny involved, among other things, an insurer’s refusal to replace an undamaged upper set of twenty-year old cus- tom made cabinets when the lower set of cabinets was destroyed by a flood. Id at *4. The pair and set language in that case, however, is very different from the language in the standard commercial first party property policy, as it does not give the policyholder the option of demanding replacement of the entire set, but instead provides the insurer with the option of choosing to pay either the replacement cost of the lost part of the pair or set or the value of that property as a proportion of the total value of the pair or set. Id. To the extent Jaskierny is relevant, it supports the existence of coverage for match- ing furniture where there is a “pair and set” clause, because the difference in policy language is rendered meaningless if it does not compel a different result than that reached in Jaskierny . Similarly, insurers may argue that the unpublished opinion issued in St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co. v. Darlak Motor Inns , Inc., No. 3:97-CV-1559 TIV (M.D. Pa. Mar. 9, 1999), is on point. But the policy at issue in that case did not include a pair and set clause. Thus, the court reached the unremarkable conclusion that the policy only covered property “directly damaged” by the fire at issue, and thus the insurer was not required to pay to redecorate the undamaged two-thirds of the policyholder’s roadside motel to match the repaired one-third that was damaged by the fire. Id. at *6, 7. It is also of note that whereas matching furniture is crucial in high-end hotels such as those with which this article is primarily concerned, Darlak arose in the context of a roadside motel—a far less upscale type of property.

Replacement solely of the damaged portion would have resulted in décor inconsistent with the usual furnishing of homes in the area and would have reduced the value of the house; hotels have similar concerns with regard to their décor, and it is for that reason that “pair and set” coverage exists.


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